KPD Receives Accreditation from CALEA

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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KPD Receives Accreditation from CALEA

Posted: 12/07/2009
The Knoxville Police Department has been accredited for the sixth time by the foremost accrediting body for law enforcement agencies.

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., or CALEA, also recognized the KPD as being one of its "Flagship agencies," because of its demonstrated excellence. The Flagship agencies provide other law enforcement departments with guidance and best practices for issues related to obtaining and maintaining accreditation.

"The Knoxville Police Department is a great organization filled with dedicated men and women who make this a better city for all of us and it's been that way for a long time," Mayor Bill Haslam said. "But we're always pleased when a city department is recognized for excellence by an outside professional organization in its field. It's especially gratifying that the KPD was also recognized as being among the leaders of the accredited departments."

"The CALEA accreditation is something we've come to expect but it's also the result of a lot of good work and we don't take it for granted. I congratulate Chief Owen and the KPD for achieving this standard again," he added.

The Knoxville Police Department received notice from CALEA in late November that it had been re-accredited.

CALEA was established in 1979 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; National Sheriffs Association and the Police Executive Research Forum to provide standards of professional excellence that would help improve law enforcement and enhance it as a profession.

The founding groups also wanted to create a credentialing body that would recognize law enforcement agencies that achieve a high level of performance.

"The fact that the Knoxville Police Department has been re-accredited for the sixth time is a testament to the professionalism of our employees," said KPD Chief Sterling Owen. "I am extremely proud to be the chief of this department. We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to this profession by providing exceptional public safety services to our citizens."

The accreditation process is based upon standards developed by law enforcement professionals. The goals of CALEA's accreditation are to strengthen crime prevention and control abilities, improve the delivery of services, formalize management practices, establish fair personnel practices, increase interagency cooperation and increase community confidence in law enforcement departments.

To be accredited a department like the KPD has to demonstrate - among other things - that it has written directives and plans in place to meet its operational goals, generates the type of reports and analysis necessary to perform better as an agency, has preparedness plans in place to respond to different contingencies including natural disasters and is taking steps to become more accountable and have an always improving relationship with the community.

The list of standards that a department has to comply with to obtain accreditation, or be reaccredited, numbers in the hundreds. The process also involves a self-evaluation as well as a thorough review by a team of independent experts who assess the department.

The accreditation is for three years and the KPD is required to submit regular reports verifying that it continues to meet the necessary standards for the recognition.